2 Miami men arrested after stealing catalytic converters in Port St. Lucie
Two men were arrested and charged with stealing more than a dozen catalytic converters in Port St. Lucie.
Port St. Lucie Police Department investigators have identified the suspects as Gerardo Reygada, 53, and Pedro Wong, 56. Both are from Miami and have extensive criminal histories.
Just after 12:30 p.m. Monday, patrol officers spotted a white Mercedes Benz SUV with no headlights on in the Bayshore Boulevard and Thornhill Drive area.
Police said once they pulled him over and saw Wong in the passenger seat, it didn’t take long to realize something was wrong.
“He was sweating profusely. It was covered in what appeared to be motor oil, it was also covered in dust and mud,” Detective Timothy Herring said.
During the traffic check, 13 stolen catalytic converters were found. Eight of them came from nearby Massey Pest Control work trucks. A company that was already the target of vandals last May.
RELATED: Palm Tran runs to cover the roads after dozens of catalytic converter thefts
“These were aftermarket catalytic converters that were cut from the vehicles and we were able to get those invoices for those repairs,” Herring said.
Police also recovered electric saws, a ski mask, batteries and other burglary tools.
Wong and Reygada remain in jail on $385,000 bail and face multiple charges, including eight counts of grand larceny.
Thefts of catalytic converters continue to increase across the United States and on the Treasury Coast.
Once they are cut, thieves usually sell them to scrap yards and make a profit on the metals found inside.
Investigators said so far this year there have been 52 cases and 9 arrests in Port St. Lucie. Despite the increase, Detective Herring said there are steps residents and business owners can take to help prevent crime.
“Security monitoring is everything. There are motion wires that they have placed inside a fence that will alert of any movement and certainly alarms,” Herring said.
Scripps content only 2022